Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Don't let the future dictate the weather

We are experiencing gorgeous weather and it is forecast to be sunny and in the 60 degree range all week. The first warm and sunny day always brings out the sun nappers, of all ages, to lie on the concrete to warm their bones. Roosters deliriously hook up with lazy acrobatic goats, and little odd fellows pick bookend spots to nap. Even the ever vigilant Marcella takes snooze, but her ear is tuned to the vibrations of any activity. I found the image of her almost surreal. Some might say she looks dead-but I see the photo as more of a dream, a floating White Dog, dreaming, moving forward.

This weekend was and is busy. We got the lambing pens ready, in the new barn. I decided to lamb there this season so we made temporary stalls for the four mothers to be. Then the old matriarch Daisy, shown here, can be present with her kin of multiple generations, it will most likely be her last season I think. Cornelia, Wild Otis, Lilly and Opal are also in with the mothers to be.

All the ewes will be first time moms. This is always a bit of nail biter, but I've only had a couple ewes be a bit daft at first lambings. Most are programmed much better than a human to carry it all out-Nature's the teacher and instincts are well ingrained.

I had hemmed and hawed about if we should breed last fall, and wasn't sure what my hesitancy was all about, but right after breeding we decided to move to Maine. At first I was kicking myself for not listening to the hemming and hawing better-for the record, it was Martyn who finally made the final call to breed. The lambing would mean more lives to rehome, depending on the move date. But now, I'm really glad we will have one final lambing here. In fact, I think it is an important process for me and the universe knew that. It will be a very important lambing season, more so than the first.

When you put your property on the market, it is easy to get sucked up into limbo. There are many what ifs and now what and why are we doing this. One has toes in two sides of the stream. It can -and pretty much has-turned into a daily good bye of sorts. But in the past weeks, I have been really focused on something-I'm here, now. The lambing will make me very present, with my beloved flock, a flock I will most likely have to part with. Over time, I am becoming more comfortable with that-for lack of a better word. Moving a flock might be too stressful on them, for that long trip. I do believe there are many good shepherds out there that I will somehow be connect with. It will not happen all at once. But the first step is accepting and believing it is all okay.

So, as we sit around at night and often dream and plan our new life-what kinds of things we want to grow and what kind of house we want-what we want to differently perhaps-we are also spending lots of time here-now. We have been working in our garden a lot this weekend. The first thing that came to me when I was weeding was, I have to make the garden presentable for house lookers. But then I realized as I worked, I am doing this for the garden, a thank you, a tidying up to make sure we leave her in the best condition we can before we leave her to evolve into what she will become. Just as I left our last beautiful garden, the next one became the living being of the moment, and that will happen again. The garden here, the land, they do not hold me down, they don't have a motive of any kind, they just are.

The weather is simply...perfect. I will soak it up. Many remind me -why they do this I don't know, as if cold weather will kill me, I'm a Minnesotan for God's sake, I lived on the East coast for many years- but some just can't keep their lips quipping you're going to miss these early springs. I have felt so graced to have lived in this climate, and to have been able to grow so many plants I couldn't in Minnesota.

The future holds many living things for Apifera. Next February 7, I might be in a snow storm. But today, right now, I am not.

White Dog floats forward

Little Moose and Goose are bookends in life

Beautiful Daisy, the elder retired matriarch will be with the new mothers

Otis was brought down from upper flock to be at lambing